Juliette here! Having just dedicated my summer to receiving 200 hours of certified yoga teacher training, I quickly realized that I would walk away with some valuable life skills that applied to both on the yoga mat, and off. Along with the actual physical practice of yoga comes the positive mentality applied to all aspects of life.
This is especially necessary when overcome with the debt, instability and the unpredictable-ness that is anything but rare at the age of 25. While yoga doesn’t guarantee that your problems will dissipate, it does provide you with the tools to handle it in a productive, peaceful manner.
Little did I know that becoming a certified yogi didn’t mean I was immune to the overwhelming nature of life. Go figure. Yet, these are the most important lessons I learned along the way that helped me understand that while I cannot change the stress handed to me, I can change the way I view it.
Procrastination Is The Devil
That little voice on your shoulder saying just ten more minutes then you’ll take the trash out? Or whispering that you can just pay your bills tomorrow?
This nasty habit has two notable repercussions: 1. the work often doesn’t get done and 2. the stress of having tasks hanging above you takes away the joy from the rest of your activities, whether you realize it or not. My rule? If it takes less than ten minutes, do it IMMEDIATELY. Like, now. If it’s a more time-intensive item, schedule out time first thing in the morning to finish the business and move on.
Focus on One Problem at A Time
Can’t watch Netflix without scrolling through your phone while attempting to eat leftover pizza? Spreading yourself thin only means you’ll get lots of chores partially done with a 0% success rate.
Instead of writing an article while simultaneously rearranging your living room furniture (guilty as charged), don’t start a new project until you check off the first one. Same goes for debt, pay off a large investment, say a recent vacay, before you decide to adopt a puppy. You can have it all, but not all at once.
Before jumping into a major financial or life decision, ensure that you have intent behind your actions. When making large purchases, determine what your intent is and if it’s worth the cost.
Considering going back to school? Buying a condo? Jot down your reasons for doing so and if your intention matches the outcome, forge onward. However, if you realize you only want a new degree because you’re sick of your crazy boss, perhaps take a baby step to look for a new job before enrolling in the local university.
While we all wish we could wake up refreshed at 6am and go for a leisurely jog outdoors to come home and attend one’s chores in an orderly fashion, it’s just not always (..or ever) possible. Just because your best friend is working two jobs and paid off her student loan in 6 months doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for you.
Understand how you best tackle problems and stick to what works for you without feeling the pressure to do everything else others are doing. A little outside of your comfort zone is okay, but no need to create an entirely new way of handling things that simply causes you to crash and burn.
And when it all goes to shit, breath through it. Idealistic, maybe. But remind yourself that as long as you can control your breath, you have the control to handle the rest of the world, too. Consider the last time you thought you couldn’t possibly make it through. And now, here you are, scarred maybe, but ahead of the game.
Understand your limits and forgive yourself for the irrationally expensive purse you had to have, or the last minute trip to Vegas that really pushed your credit card limits. Learn from your less-than-great decisions and know that you have the power to control the habits you wish to keep.
How do you handle the overwhelming financial and overall burdens of life after college?
As mentioned above, I try to be as intentional with my actions as possible. If I know a night out at the bar isn’t going to serve me mentally, I skip the $50 beer tab and opt to spend my money on organic apples and organically roasted coffee at the farmer’s market.
Same money spent, but my intentions have changed to fit my overall well-being.